Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 7/29/12 11:22 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 7/29/12 11:39 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 7/29/12 1:05 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. fivebells . 7/29/12 1:36 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 7/29/12 4:08 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Brian Eleven 7/29/12 4:34 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 7/29/12 4:33 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 7/30/12 1:38 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 7/30/12 4:29 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 8/2/12 1:23 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 8/2/12 5:20 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Change A. 8/2/12 6:07 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 8/3/12 11:09 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Change A. 8/3/12 11:14 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 8/3/12 11:15 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Change A. 8/3/12 11:24 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 8/3/12 1:00 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 8/4/12 7:14 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Adam . . 8/4/12 11:35 AM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 8/4/12 12:00 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 8/8/12 5:21 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. John Wilde 8/8/12 7:00 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. . Jake . 8/8/12 7:21 PM
RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please. Rich W 8/17/12 2:37 PM
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 11:22 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 11:22 AM

Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi all.

I really would be very grateful for input on my history and practice as it relates to attainment. I would also like any helpful insights (practices) of what to do about my avoidance of practice- obviously "just sit" being the truth but I hope to elaborate on why this question further down.

In my teens and early twenties I explored many alternative ideas and practices. This culminated in a completely unexpected experience of non-duality in the early 90s. The experience lasted for about an hour, and was only cognised after the fact when the "me" sense returned. This returning sense was a major panic, as I realised being alive didn't need me to exist. After this momentary and strong panic I had most of a day of extreme happiness....fully involved in the world but felt like gliding along, colours more vivd and 3D than usual...."life" everywhere. I also saw some visuals at one point that seemed to be viewable manifestations of some chanting going on. Anyway, as well as this I was probably the nicest and most decent I have ever been that day...which in itself was great.

Since then, nothing this strong. I gave up practice of all the things back then when I had an experience of quiet that almost dissolved the duality again- it did get rid of my incessant questioning stance that was a burden for me and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in verbal distance. I lived quite normally from then on.

After coming down with a long term illness, I had to confront fear of death..and this got me back into meditation. I started on breath awareness and never noticed fast sensations but did, in the end, notice the very subtle leans of the mind towards and away from events/thoughts. This knowledge and practice seemingly enabled release of emotions as they came up and I started to see suffering extinguished from life more and more rapidly, even as nothing basic in my make up had changed. I viewed this more like a transparency to happenings, which enabled them not to "stick" and thus turn into problems for me or anyone else so much. I didn't master it but was well on the way- I judged...but at the time I met a wonderful Zen man, who persuaded me (or rather we persuaded me) to start koans. I stopped this practice and havent been able to reconstruct it even after stopping koan training (I coudnt maintain that level of practice whilst doing ordinary day to day things that I needed to do). I moved over to shikantaza but have doubts about it- have seen three ways of practicing it,and many disagreements- although in essence I believe this was probably the practice I was unwittingly doing at the time of my "big" non-dual episode.

I did do a three day Zen retreat..had a few hallucinations and some duality boundary loosening, but nothing else. Stopped that as the teacher repeatedly failed to turn up to the Dokusans we had arranged...then didnt answer calls..and then found out he did this often to everybody.....

Since then, as the leaning practice I discovered seemed close to Vimalarmasi's method I tried that, but I seemed to make no progress after six months of this. I recently started studying Daniel's book and now am thinking perhaps I should start on this method. I did try the noting, on occasion before, and now for the past few weeks....I find I can't find words quickly enough, not really know exactly what has just passed. Part of my jumble is that I found concentation practices almost impossible, and was in agreement with Vimalaramsi on the fact they arent part of the Buddha's teaching..he has a different take on what the jhanas mean in relation to Buddhist practice..and its not the jhanas the Buddha himself rejected when he left his old practices behind to sit under the Bodhi tree.

I live an ordinary life...without any extra money to do anything, but I do get time to sit at home. I want to overcome whatever barriers are holding me up and get on the road to stream entry.

I am grateful for any replies from anyone that has any insight into this....and would also welcome comments on the historical issues.

All the best

Rich
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 11:39 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 11:39 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Rich W:
Hi all.


After coming down with a long term illness, I had to confront fear of death..and this got me back into meditation. I started on breath awareness and never noticed fast sensations but did, in the end, notice the very subtle leans of the mind towards and away from events/thoughts. This knowledge and practice seemingly enabled release of emotions as they came up and I started to see suffering extinguished from life more and more rapidly, even as nothing basic in my make up had changed. I viewed this more like a transparency to happenings, which enabled them not to "stick" and thus turn into problems for me or anyone else so much. I didn't master it but was well on the way




This sure seems like meaningful practice to me. What's to reconstruct? Why not pursue this approach? It sounds like it was leading to more streamlined, open, transparent and benevolent experience and action. Sounds great ;)

The particularly striking thing to me about this description is the ordinariness and simplicity of this approach. It really seems like a wise and humble approach to cultivation, without over-determining before hand what the 'goal' of practice should be, just a very honest and authentic curiosity about how one actually is experiencing and how that actually feels leading to further simplification. One thing about this sort of approach that can make it difficult to stick with, in my experience, is that very lack of an overarching narrative about the nature of the path and goal, which can provide a dramatic framework within which to become motivated to continue.

It seems to me that this approach-- which sounds like a kind of shikantaza itself-- functions best in the context of a practice-as-self-validating view, rather than in a dramatic practice-for-some-profound-moral-or-cosmological-Purpose sort of view. It can be a slippery place to rest, not having a justification for practice outside of the simplicity of practice as a present moment expression of natural wisdom. It's easy to want more.
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 1:05 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 1:05 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jake

Good to make your acquaintance.

I agree. In one way it was seeming to begin to fulfill the point of dharma in the first place..ie the end of suffering, for both myself and my contribution to others' suffering. The trouble was that I can't recreate this practice, even though its simplicity at the time was becoming more and noticeable, since the koan spell.

I am also, as I didnt follow it to its logical end, not sure whether it ties in with the description of enlightenment given by the Buddha, and whether indeed there is anything in that that is necessary. Because I am very aware of how we humans have self-deception built into our modus operandi I do doubt myself and everything else regularly.

You may very well be right in saying that nothing else might be needed for that approach in general. I either need to learn to recreate it or find an alternative. It is this I am vacillating over and what that ultimately might mean in terms of "attainments".

What practices are you following, Jake, if I might ask?

All the best

Rich
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fivebells , modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 1:36 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 1:36 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
I know you don't believe in it, but I think the key to the earlier success was the stability afforded by the breath meditation. It really seems like a certain stability of attention is needed to see those leanings of the mind. What kinds of problems are you having with concentration practices?

Also, I am curious to hear more about Vimalarmasi's take on the issue of concentration practice and the jhanas. A citation would be interesting.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:08 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:08 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

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fivebells .:
I think the key to the earlier success was the stability afforded by the breath meditation. It really seems like a certain stability of attention is needed to see those leanings of the mind.
.


I would tend to agree.
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Brian Eleven, modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:34 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:32 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 221 Join Date: 9/14/10 Recent Posts
Hello,

I've also done some practice using Vimalaramsi's 6R technique, which he refers to as TWIM: Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation.

The website is:dhamma sukha
A link to a talk on his breath meditation instruction is here: http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/breath.htm
A link to a short pdf on breath meditation: http://dhammasukha.org/Study/Books/Pdf/anabooklet-1pg.pdf

As far as his take on concentration goes, my understanding is that he feels that concentration and insight were originally meant to be "yoked" together and not practiced separately. He argues that most meditation that is currently being taught is skipping a step because it is based on the teachings of commentaries, and not the original suttas, which skip this step. Which Step? Relax, which is the third R. The 6 are:
1.Recognize, when the mind leaves the object of meditation.
2.Release what the mind has latched onto.
3. Relax, the tension in the mind and body.
4. Re-smile, to create a wholesome state of mind, and make it easier to Recognize.
5. Return, to the object of meditation( the breath)
6. Repeat, the process as needed.

Vimalaramsi has published two books on breath meditation(free downloads on the site), but Very strongly encourages that his students do Metta meditation instead(instructions): http://dhammasukha.org/Study/Books/Metta_Booklet.htm.
If you go to the main page you'll find links to a youtube channel, a facebook page, and a yahoo group as well.

My practice has made a slow transition away from a strict following of these instructions and is really more a practice of following my attention and acceptance of what arises.

The above is just my short interpretation, so take it with a grain of salt and for the real deal check into it for yourself.

Metta,

Brian.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:33 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/29/12 4:33 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Rich W:
Hi Jake

Good to make your acquaintance.
What practices are you following, Jake, if I might ask?



Hi Rich, nice to meet you.

I employ different approaches in different moments, depending on what seems most useful at that time.

For instance, a central practice is just letting go of the need to 'do' anything with experience as it is. The lighter the touch, the more experience reveals itself in a natural way, I find. Everything unfolds and displays its true nature automatically in the first instance of experience in each moment, prior to the arising of all the illusions of duality and oneness. In my experience, in other words, there is only true nature, although experience can arise as illusory modes of being, even the actual arising of that illusion perfectly displays true nature. It's just that 'I' can never experience that, as 'I' am part of that mirage. However, 'I' can be seen by that clarity as empty.

But when "I" am heavier, so to speak, and more compelled to manipulate experience, then I use a technique like counting or following the breath in order to open that "I" up and chill it out until the letting go into natural experiencing can arise again in clarity. With this practice I find a helpful reminder is to stay with the clarity and naturalness of the six senses, to stay as close to ordinary and natural as possible; rather than trying to cultivate any special states, it's about simplifying and becoming attuned to natural stillness and openness.

If "I" am so heavy handed that impulses to say or do harmful things are arising, with a felt sense that they could push speech and behavior, then "I" may exert effort to restrain speech and behavior. With this training I find it helpful to remember to 'own' all of those impulses, to befriend and get to know all that anger, jealousy, pride, or whatever is arising, rather than to try to eliminate or ignore or indulge them to actually feel the texture of them, feel the texture of the sense of being compelled by them, to see clearly the rationals and stories, and so on. I find this can reveal a surprisingly spontaneous kindness which requires no cultivation, when I am not separating from myself and cutting myself into good and bad qualities.

I guess this is about how I have boiled down the three trainings in my own experience.

Oh, and by the way, it can be quite frustrating to try and re-create the fruits of earlier practice. Our job is just to work in the garden. What grows there grows naturally, and if authentic is uncreated anyway. Diligent and sincere practice just creates the conditions which support the emergence of those qualities and processes that we label 'progress'. In other words, the best way to not get back there, is to try to get back there. While the best way to get that process going again, is to forget about it and come back again and again to a simple method in the present moment. Like your breath meditation emoticon It's not magic, it's all very natural, and persistence and sincerity and diligence go a long way.
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 7/30/12 1:38 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/30/12 1:38 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Cheers Everyone.

To answer the Vimalaramsi question for fivebells, Brain was correct. Vimalaramsi quite rightly says the Buddha left the jhanas he learnt previous to his enlightenment practice as they didnt lead to the end of suffering. He then developed his own version of the necessary "concentration" and insight practices together..thus Vimalaramsi suggests that the jhanas of Buddhism are more open awareness ones. Its all on his site, like Brain said. The actual technique is similar to what I discovered but my practice was more fluid and less complicated......his ideas of brain membrane relaxation is off. However, I respect him for his going back to the suttas approach and working from there.

I agree that you both (Jake and fivebells) might be right about the previous sitting practice feeding into the ability to notice the leanings.....I sat yesterday and tried noting..I find my noting cant keep up with experience, neither do I sense any form of vibration in it. However, I did start to notice a little of the leanings again (the really subtle ones I remembered form this are the ones that are leanings to leanings). Re concentration practices..I have no recollection of ever having been in one of the concentration jhanas..I did have a problem with storying and also dullness and getting sleepy alot. These seemed to be the hindrances I had mainly, but then again I could hold my attention on my breath etc quite well at times but never "went" anywhere.

Jake. You sound to me like somone in the area of shikantaza. I like this overall model and was wondering what your take on Daniel's comemnts in his book are, concerning the "do nothing schools as you are already there" that Daniel criticises (if my first reading reflects that accurately...if not then the error is mine)?

All the best

Rich
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 7/30/12 4:29 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 7/30/12 4:29 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

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Rich W:


Jake. You sound to me like somone in the area of shikantaza. I like this overall model and was wondering what your take on Daniel's comemnts in his book are, concerning the "do nothing schools as you are already there" that Daniel criticises (if my first reading reflects that accurately...if not then the error is mine)?



I understand Daniel's critique, although I might disagree with it in details, practically speaking it is important to take what he is saying there into account. Vigorous application, discipline and etc. can be very important. Feeling like you are really a practitioner who can do something with your experience and cultivate actively is important at certain times. For instance, in my own case, often shamatha and sila practice are engaged from that perspective: of actively cultivating or restraining certain things. However, wisdom reveals natural or innate shamatha and natural ethical intentionality. So in my experience, authentic insight automatically includes authentic ethics and authentic stillness/clarity/openness. If there is some authentic insight there in the beginning (of one's meditation practice career), then more active 'cultivation' practice can be oriented towards that natural state of completeness, since most people can't simply abide in that completeness of this moment without becoming distracted for various reasons.

My understanding of the buddha-nature schools that Daniel is criticizing in that passage (and, frankly, it's been a while since I read that) is different from his, I think. (Daniel's take if I recall is to set up a somewhat straw man already there school that claims that since experience is already empty, impermanent and unsatisfactory when clung to as if not, and this is very different from buddha nature teachings.)

My understanding in my own experience (which I guess is why I always liked this kind of already there teaching better than the more cultivation oriented teachings) is that there is a natural state of experiencing which is already always complete. It is completely awake, free, and benevolent. This is how experience is naturally and automatically. This is what is pointed to with the term 'buddha nature' in the radical schools like Chan/Zen and Vajrayana. Our whole samsaric daydream/nightmare trip is something which arises dependant on a failure to appreciate this natural state, rather than any actual loss of this true nature. Therefore nothing need be 'done' in order to realize this nature. This non-doing is the practice of buddhas. It is the actual context of all experiences, or the dimension of natural experience, within which a 'bubble' of illusory samsaric tripping may arise in the wake of a failure to appreciate. There's a lot more that could be said about all the dynamics of this and how to practice it but I'm really not qualified to say all that could be said. I'm not even qualified to say what I've already said, and I sincerely mean that. Yet I jibber jabber on because this topic interests me and I do enjoy to practice this way when possible. As I tried to make clear in my earlier response, that is not all the time.

And that is something I can share which is deeply rooted in my practical experience: it is very valuable to develop an experiential understanding of multiple methods which are designed to work with different levels of illusion/distraction/disturbedness. For instance, the layer of illusion most applicable to shikantaza is a very subtle obscuration. The layer of illusion that is functional in gross emotional reactivity is much coarser. The beauty is that by working with those 'leanings' towards and away from present experience which are at the heart of emotional reactivity, one's mind becomes subtler and that subtler layer of illusion can spontaneously dissolve permitting a glimpse of the natural state. In this way more active modes of cultivation can be dovetailed with more open modes of non-activity, and we can learn to apply techniques which are best suited in each particular moment (again as i tried to express in my earlier post emoticon.

In short (obviously not my strong suit) the best approach is the one which is most relevant to YOU in that moment! This is the whole theory behind the three yanas in dzogchen teachings * for instance, and it's how I approach the three trainings as per above. The next question is: how to come to know oneself well enough to learn one's own limits, one's actual patterns and conditions, so that one can become adept at recognizing what is most relevant in each moment? This last line sums up the most practical part of my whole practice experience, I think.


* in dzogchen teachings (as opposed to Tantric teachings) the three yanas or overall view/method/behavioral systems are 'Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen'. For those geeky enough to care yet who didn't come up in that context emoticon
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 1:23 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 1:23 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jake

Thank you for your reply. I think I agree with what you have said if I am understanding you correctly. I have to say I would like to hear more on the different methods you use for different levels and how you decide when and for how long to use each one.

I am practicing my original method again as best I can. I have also tried some small concentration sessions....and still seem to be able to hold mind on one point for a number of breaths quite easily. I also tried to notice quicker vibratory things but I only notice normal sensations- as I do in the awareness of mind leaning type practice.

Anyone else, please feel free to jump in and comment too.

All the best

Rich
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 5:20 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 5:20 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

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Rich W:
Hi Jake

Thank you for your reply. I think I agree with what you have said if I am understanding you correctly. I have to say I would like to hear more on the different methods you use for different levels and how you decide when and for how long to use each one.



I could say a million things but if you narrowed and concretized the question, referencing your own experience, I might have something concise to say emoticon

Basically I deploy whatever method seems most pertinent in each moment. I learned which ones felt that way by experimenting with them, which took a few years. I deliberately employ methods only as long as they feel pertinent in a particular moment or situation. Otherwise I just live life.

The overall orientation is to live life in an authentic way, with spontaneity in originary openness. Without being hypnotized by imaginary content, and hence without being caught in reactive patterns. Reactivity (seemingly) usurps that openness and freshness and authenticity with stereotyped emotionality, ideation and behavior. The methods are alike in being merely remedial means for engendering a clear appreciation of the contrast between authentic (spontaneous) and inauthentic (reactive) modes.

As things unfold this discernment becomes more natural. As this happens, everyday life becomes less structured by the patterns of ignorant habit, or by the patterns of discipline. Over time the percentage of time employing heavy methods reduces and that employing light ones increases, while the overall percentage of time employing methods decreases.

Over time, the default mode of experiencing and acting becomes, while nearly always a mix, more slanted towards uncontrived freedom and less slanted towards contrived unfreedom.

Good practice in my estimation is like a snake eating it's own tail. If it's done well it should disappear, consume itself. And far from leaving a transcendant nothingness in its wake, it leaves life as it is: uncontrived, fresh, open, free. Just this life, this moment, open.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 6:07 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/2/12 5:54 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

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. Jake .:
As things unfold this discernment becomes more natural. As this happens, everyday life becomes less structured by the patterns of ignorant habit, or by the patterns of discipline. Over time the percentage of time employing heavy methods reduces and that employing light ones increases, while the overall percentage of time employing methods decreases.


Now I can see why Andrew's hand leapt to the mouse when he saw that you had posted in the thread "The Great Perfection", Mr. Jake.
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:09 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:09 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jake

Yes, I agree with you..I have always thought that the goal was to become more transparent..so that emotion and thought flowed through without sticking, and thus were lighter and less troublesome. I think this fits in with your defintion.

In terms of practice I was just after some general practices you have experiemented with and what you found useful and for what purpose....rather than having anything more specific in mind. Does that make sense? It might help me to decide what practices to try and which ones are worth sticking at for some time, on top of ym base practice.

Hi Aman...how are you?

All the best chaps..hoping you are having good weeks.

Rich
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:14 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:14 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Rich W:
In terms of practice I was just after some general practices you have experiemented with and what you found useful and for what purpose....rather than having anything more specific in mind. Does that make sense? It might help me to decide what practices to try and which ones are worth sticking at for some time, on top of ym base practice.


I would like to know that as well.
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:15 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:15 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Yes, I thought you were asking the same type of query emoticon
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:24 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 11:24 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
I have edited my first post about me asking Jake if he could describe the various practices that he has used over the years because he has tried to explain the 3 methods he uses in one of his replies in this thread.

After seeing your post, I thought you have better articulated what I wanted to convey and so posted that I wanted to know about Jake's practices as well.

Maybe you read my unedited post, that is why you think that I was asking the same type of query?
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 1:00 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/3/12 1:00 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

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Rich W:
Hi Jake

Yes, I agree with you..I have always thought that the goal was to become more transparent..so that emotion and thought flowed through without sticking, and thus were lighter and less troublesome. I think this fits in with your defintion.


Even completely unproblematic and utterly transparent, in my experience. This (DhO) is a funny place to talk about this. At one time, the prevailing assumption here could be summed up in these or similar terms, but back then I couldn't quite relate to the prevailing culture around these issues. Later, the complete elimination of all 'troublesomeness' became more mainstream here, but I can't really relate to that either. This is more view talk though and not a proper response to your question.

Rich W:

In terms of practice I was just after some general practices you have experiemented with and what you found useful and for what purpose....rather than having anything more specific in mind. Does that make sense? It might help me to decide what practices to try and which ones are worth sticking at for some time, on top of ym base practice.


So here are some practices I have done:

Spent some time practicing according to Namkhai Norbu's Dzogchen teachings. The basic unit of practice is called a 'Thun' and consists of a suite of Vajrayana style practices integrating body, speech, mind and the nature of mind. I.e., some singing/mantra, visualization, mudras. This integrated activity rises and falls in choreographed waves; in the trough of the wave, when the visualizations dissolve and the vocalizations stop and the body becomes still, there is a 'resting' practice which might be more shamatha flavored or more 'rigpa' flavored, depending. Also in this practice genre are physical practices called Yantra Yoga or Trulkhor, which are movements synchronized with breathing including retentions. Also things like prostrations etc.

Took a break from this style to practice Vipassana according to my understanding of MCTB, KFD etc-- prag dharma. But not noting, just noticing style (noting always seemed too clunky). Worked briefly with a prag dharma teacher. Soon experienced what in retrospect I would identify as Stream Entry according to the standards of this community, shortly followed by more intensive practice in this style which led to another seeming complete cycle. After this, the cycling seemed intrinsically problematic in some fashion, like an artifact of this style of practicing which was generating a funny altered form of identity. I switched back to a more Vajrayana/Chan style approach to shamatha/vipassana/sila as I have described in above posts and over months and years have deepened into what I am describing. Also have begun feeling a pull back to Vajrayana practices of body speech and mind as detailed in prior paragraph.


Here is some little context pertaining to my tendencies and temperament, as I feel that these factors along with the views unconsciously and later consciously held are way way way more important than techniques:

Before I had a really dedicated practice, from an early age was always interested in the nature of reality and experience. Had a massive A&P type experience in early adolescence. Throughout my teens and twenties I would regularly flash into spontaneous insights (every day, every other day). As I described it at the time, there would be a sudden noticing that I could just 'let walking walk' or 'let thinking think' and there was no-one who was 'behind' these phenomena. Then during my twenties I started to have more spontaneous insights into what I then called 'Unworld', a state in which suddenly all phenomena would point back at a seemingly impersonal Witness, as if every phenomena were literally pointing back at 'me', and World would lose its solidity and appear as mere phenomena as if all the contents of world were mere impressions appearing to 'me'. These glimpses would be accompanied by a spontaneous appraisal of them that they were untrue, that they were revealing something at the very root of illusion in fact, a solipsistic sense of Self at the root of my more ordinary personal self-ing. Yet I could acknowledge the impulse to become absorbed in that cosmic indifference of the Witness, and felt a deep sense that my path was about coming INTO World, not escaping. Alongside these insights into no-self and the Self there were also moments of complete openness and simplification in the natural state in which all experience would become transparent, utterly open and clear and simple, without a sense of solipsism yet without any sense of solidity to World, like World is just a perfect and pure hologram arising spontaneously in a wide open clearing.

Somewhere in my late twenties, when I had a fairly stable daily practice along Vajrayana lines, I suddenly realized that heretofore my motivation had been to understand-- to understand the nature of reality and experience. This had led to practicing for my own personal peace and clarity and I was at a point where I could sit down and practice and reliably access deep peace and clarity, whether of a more shamatha style or glimpses of Rigpa as in holographic luminous World in wide-open clearing of stillness and silence, but it was mostly limited to sitting and practicing or moments of activity in daily life in which there was no communication happening.

Suddenly I realized that this was completely irrelevant if I was going to continue to move through daily life as an irritable, moody, arrogant, morally ambiguous ass. The motivation shifted on a deep level to investigating reactivity in daily life, which meant understanding my 'cage' of karmic propensities in detail, and digging deeper and deeper to see how I was dishonest with myself and inauthentic about my intentions, thoughts and feelings in daily life and relationships, projecting onto others and living in a bubble of these projections. So the motivation shifted from understanding reality and experience, and the fruit which was coming from that which was personal peace, to wanting to understand the psychological and psychic dynamics of interaction, relationship, identification, projection and reactivity, out of a deepening acknowledgement of my tendencies giving rise to and dovetailing with others' suffering. I saw the need for a communicative freedom.

In the year prior to taking up Vippassana I spent nearly every waking moment investigating experience and the nature of reactivity and the natural state of innate perfection and purity and easy going kindness. I never sat or had any formal practice during this year, but did utilize Vajra Breathing during daily life to build concentration (although I didn't think of it this way). I utilized life experiences to examine the dynamics of reactivity, identity, and the identityless responsiveness and automatic insightfulness of the natural state. I was obsessed and couldn't let it go; I knew the time had come to break through to a new way of being (a new default mode or baseline, as people say here). A deep drive to move in this direction motivated the investigation. When I took up practicing Vipassana then there were two key results: one, quickly recognizing the major stages of insight (A&P, DN, EQ) which had characterized my mindstates for a long long long time, that breakthrough to a new baseline quickly and relatively smoothly followed. The shadow side of this was that that deep impulse to escape had to come to the fore for this to happen--- suddenly on the other side of SE there were many many states of jhannic and Witness-like 'distance' available rather easily. So soon, within a few months of that second apparent cycle after which this stuff was really getting out f hand, I switched to the more natural, senses open, grounded in everyday life, Chan/Vajrayana practice-- but obviously, on the basis of the baseline shifts, at a new level of depth, consistency and practicality.

In short, I don't know what good any of these descriptions can do anyone else as I hope I have made clear my perspective that temperament, personal history, views unconscious and conscious, and motivations for practice, along with degree of psychological and psychic authenticity, play enormously significant roles in what results from merely deploying simple techniques such as noticing sensations or etc. Yet I do hope it helps in some way. Generally I am reticent when it comes to these things, and have never been much of a journalor. When not prompted to I don't spend much time if any thinking about my past, and whatever stories I come up with always seem laughably inadequate, 'likely stories', little fictions that perhaps have some glimmer of truth. Oh well emoticon
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 7:14 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 7:14 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jake. How are you this fine day?

Even completely unproblematic and utterly transparent, in my experience. This (DhO) is a funny place to talk about this. At one time, the prevailing assumption here could be summed up in these or similar terms, but back then I couldn't quite relate to the prevailing culture around these issues. Later, the complete elimination of all 'troublesomeness' became more mainstream here, but I can't really relate to that either. This is more view talk though and not a proper response to your question.


Yes. I would tentatively agree, although I doubt (and the Pali indicates) that troublesome beliefs are all destroyed, as we are all dependently originated...and thus our views are a product of our time and associations as much as of truth....

Spent some time practicing according to Namkhai Norbu's Dzogchen teachings. The basic unit of practice is called a 'Thun' and consists of a suite of Vajrayana style practices integrating body, speech, mind and the nature of mind. I.e., some singing/mantra, visualization, mudras. This integrated activity rises and falls in choreographed waves; in the trough of the wave, when the visualizations dissolve and the vocalizations stop and the body becomes still, there is a 'resting' practice which might be more shamatha flavored or more 'rigpa' flavored, depending. Also in this practice genre are physical practices called Yantra Yoga or Trulkhor, which are movements synchronized with breathing including retentions. Also things like prostrations etc.


This sounds interesting, although I have generally tried to avoid any practice which might replace ordinary level imaginings with others, at the same level, and visualisation practice has always seemed to be one of those.

Took a break from this style to practice Vipassana according to my understanding of MCTB, KFD etc-- prag dharma. But not noting, just noticing style (noting always seemed too clunky). Worked briefly with a prag dharma teacher. Soon experienced what in retrospect I would identify as Stream Entry according to the standards of this community, shortly followed by more intensive practice in this style which led to another seeming complete cycle. After this, the cycling seemed intrinsically problematic in some fashion, like an artifact of this style of practicing which was generating a funny altered form of identity. I switched back to a more Vajrayana/Chan style approach to shamatha/vipassana/sila as I have described in above posts and over months and years have deepened into what I am describing. Also have begun feeling a pull back to Vajrayana practices of body speech and mind as detailed in prior paragraph.


KFD?
Ah, yes- you mention artefact, which I take to be similar to my point about visualisation. Would you concur?
My feeling at the moment is that such Zen practices are the most likely to enable one to overcome inherent self delusion through other methods (it is just a feeling as my accomplishment and understanding is not great enough for anything more...although I know some Zennies believe that non-dual experience is absolute truth, which I find flawed.

Before I had a really dedicated practice, from an early age was always interested in the nature of reality and experience. Had a massive A&P type experience in early adolescence. Throughout my teens and twenties I would regularly flash into spontaneous insights (every day, every other day). As I described it at the time, there would be a sudden noticing that I could just 'let walking walk' or 'let thinking think' and there was no-one who was 'behind' these phenomena. Then during my twenties I started to have more spontaneous insights into what I then called 'Unworld', a state in which suddenly all phenomena would point back at a seemingly impersonal Witness, as if every phenomena were literally pointing back at 'me', and World would lose its solidity and appear as mere phenomena as if all the contents of world were mere impressions appearing to 'me'. These glimpses would be accompanied by a spontaneous appraisal of them that they were untrue, that they were revealing something at the very root of illusion in fact, a solipsistic sense of Self at the root of my more ordinary personal self-ing. Yet I could acknowledge the impulse to become absorbed in that cosmic indifference of the Witness, and felt a deep sense that my path was about coming INTO World, not escaping. Alongside these insights into no-self and the Self there were also moments of complete openness and simplification in the natural state in which all experience would become transparent, utterly open and clear and simple, without a sense of solipsism yet without any sense of solidity to World, like World is just a perfect and pure hologram arising spontaneously in a wide open clearing.


Very interesting and thank you for sharing this. How does the "witness" figure now for you? I ask because I was stuck with it for a long time and it removes one from life...I always felt it was a falsity but had to study and practice long and hard before I started to be able to drop it in sitting.....

Somewhere in my late twenties, when I had a fairly stable daily practice along Vajrayana lines, I suddenly realized that heretofore my motivation had been to understand-- to understand the nature of reality and experience. This had led to practicing for my own personal peace and clarity and I was at a point where I could sit down and practice and reliably access deep peace and clarity, whether of a more shamatha style or glimpses of Rigpa as in holographic luminous World in wide-open clearing of stillness and silence, but it was mostly limited to sitting and practicing or moments of activity in daily life in which there was no communication happening.


Its interesting also you note personal peace from this method....reading about other arhats of the modern age it seems that they don't all get this...which to me is the complementary duality for peace to others and a worthwhile practical goal.......which was the motive behind my search into the leanings towards/away from things..the subtle attachments and aversions.

Suddenly I realized that this was completely irrelevant if I was going to continue to move through daily life as an irritable, moody, arrogant, morally ambiguous ass. The motivation shifted on a deep level to investigating reactivity in daily life, which meant understanding my 'cage' of karmic propensities in detail, and digging deeper and deeper to see how I was dishonest with myself and inauthentic about my intentions, thoughts and feelings in daily life and relationships, projecting onto others and living in a bubble of these projections. So the motivation shifted from understanding reality and experience, and the fruit which was coming from that which was personal peace, to wanting to understand the psychological and psychic dynamics of interaction, relationship, identification, projection and reactivity, out of a deepening acknowledgement of my tendencies giving rise to and dovetailing with others' suffering. I saw the need for a communicative freedom.


Aha...that answers the point above I think...although you stil mention personal peace, which I can't wuite equate with the moody sentence?

In the year prior to taking up Vippassana I spent nearly every waking moment investigating experience and the nature of reactivity and the natural state of innate perfection and purity and easy going kindness. I never sat or had any formal practice during this year, but did utilize Vajra Breathing during daily life to build concentration (although I didn't think of it this way). I utilized life experiences to examine the dynamics of reactivity, identity, and the identityless responsiveness and automatic insightfulness of the natural state. I was obsessed and couldn't let it go; I knew the time had come to break through to a new way of being (a new default mode or baseline, as people say here). A deep drive to move in this direction motivated the investigation. When I took up practicing Vipassana then there were two key results: one, quickly recognizing the major stages of insight (A&P, DN, EQ) which had characterized my mindstates for a long long long time, that breakthrough to a new baseline quickly and relatively smoothly followed. The shadow side of this was that that deep impulse to escape had to come to the fore for this to happen--- suddenly on the other side of SE there were many many states of jhannic and Witness-like 'distance' available rather easily. So soon, within a few months of that second apparent cycle after which this stuff was really getting out f hand, I switched to the more natural, senses open, grounded in everyday life, Chan/Vajrayana practice-- but obviously, on the basis of the baseline shifts, at a new level of depth, consistency and practicality.


This paragraph sums up my question to you really. I need to understand what other methods to follow for this reason..what will they add to my practice, even if I come back to the original just sitting or just being with the leanings...I am very unsure of this, but you demonstrate there are benefits to doing such things....the question is how to know this...or at least how to know how long to try other methods....

In short, I don't know what good any of these descriptions can do anyone else as I hope I have made clear my perspective that temperament, personal history, views unconscious and conscious, and motivations for practice, along with degree of psychological and psychic authenticity, play enormously significant roles in what results from merely deploying simple techniques such as noticing sensations or etc. Yet I do hope it helps in some way. Generally I am reticent when it comes to these things, and have never been much of a journalor. When not prompted to I don't spend much time if any thinking about my past, and whatever stories I come up with always seem laughably inadequate, 'likely stories', little fictions that perhaps have some glimmer of truth. Oh well emoticon


I am grateful for your sharing, Jake, Thank you. It is useful IMO to hear about others stories, even if ours might be different, as it highlights opportunities, methodologies, options etc etc.

All the best

Rich
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 11:35 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 11:35 AM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts

Even completely unproblematic and utterly transparent, in my experience. This (DhO) is a funny place to talk about this. At one time, the prevailing assumption here could be summed up in these or similar terms, but back then I couldn't quite relate to the prevailing culture around these issues. Later, the complete elimination of all 'troublesomeness' became more mainstream here, but I can't really relate to that either. This is more view talk though and not a proper response to your question.


Yes. I would tentatively agree, although I doubt (and the Pali indicates) that troublesome beliefs are all destroyed, as we are all dependently originated...and thus our views are a product of our time and associations as much as of truth....


I think by 'troublesomeness' he was referring to experiences of suffering in any form other than physical pain, this is a goal common (though not universal) around here, people started shifting their goal from ending the stickiness of emotions to ending all mental suffering starting around 2010.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 12:00 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/4/12 12:00 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi Rich, I'm very well today thanks. I'm off for a hike but later I will try to respond to a few of your questions. Have a great day!
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 5:21 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 5:21 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Rich W:

This [Vajrayana] sounds interesting, although I have generally tried to avoid any practice which might replace ordinary level imaginings with others, at the same level, and visualisation practice has always seemed to be one of those.


Yes and no. It could be, depending on the individual. But part of the point is that ordinary identity is partly constituted by imagination. And not just by the content of imagination-- such as body-image, but by the built in assumptions of solidity and stability that accompany our body-image and other imaginary thinking about life. Training mind to imagine different 'self-images' challenges the stability and familiarity of our self-image, and further training mind to imagine in general that selves/things/world is diaphanous, translucent to openness, insubstantial etc. challenges some of the deepest assumptions that come pre-packaged, built in, with our basic tendency to imagine our lives rather than live them. facet

Also it is very important to understand that in its natural context, Tantric practice depends on already having an understanding of 'emptiness' in order to function correctly. According to the three-yana presentation of Dzogchen, emptiness is the fruit of Sutric practice (whether Theravada or Mahayana). But even if one hasn't followed a sutric path to its final stage, if one has an insight into emptiness that can be reliably brought forth, that insight can be the basis for Tantric practice with visualization, energy practices, etc. So: tantric methodology will never make sense outside of an experiential insight into emptiness, whether the latter is intermittent or stable. The Tantric Buddhist principle is to transform impure vision into pure vision according to a system of correspondences between impure and pure factors; for example, anger and clarity. Each emotion corresponds to a facet of wisdom. On top the base of emptiness, one cultivates transformation of emotions into wisdoms. The other aspects of human life and experience are also transformed along the same lines. There is an alchemical dimension to this kind of practice, but it also relates to the nature of mind, which is the base of both (pure) wisdoms and (distorted) emotions. Recognizing this true nature is the fruit of tantric practice, which in turn becomes the basis or starting point for practicing Dzogchen or Mahamudra according to this system.


Rich W:

1) KFD?
2) Ah, yes- you mention artefact, which I take to be similar to my point about visualisation. Would you concur?



1) Kenneth Folk Dharma. A site started by a friend and colleague of Daniel Ingram, the founder of DhO.

2) Not quite what I meant. In the case I was describing, the idea was that the kinds of experiences which arise in practice are not simply laying about waiting to be experienced in a simple way but are partially constituted by the methods employed, the way experience is being related to via the method. Also subsequent interpretations of the significance of the states (what did that mean to my further practice? to my ongoing experience of life?) is influenced by the views held. A prime difference to me between experiences and transformative insights is that the latter occur when views that have been heretofore conceptually shaping experience pervasively are dropped in favor of direct awareness of actual qualities of experiencing. In my experience the deeper the insight into emptiness penetrates my mind, the more of these various views of experiencers drop and the less there is a sense of experiences and more a sense of experiencing. One of the many fascinating paradoxes of this process in my perspective is that the more experiencing is lightened up in this way, the less of a sense of agency-as-control is present, thus the less sense of struggle and effort in life in general. And yet, there is an increasing sense of... not sure how to phrase it... intentionality or activity to experiencing itself. Experiencing becomes more explicitly an activity, an engagement, even as the flavor of that engagement and active intelligence becomes more light and open and spontaneous. For instance, at one time I would characterize activity as occurring somewhere on a felt spectrum between compulsive and deliberate whereas now those both seem the same and mutually opposite to spontaneous, which itself could include anything from simply seeing something to planning and reflecting. To be clear, I still experience activity as often compulsive or deliberate (i.e., ignorant). Hence the practices of stillness training and ethical restraint when they seem useful. That is the very barometer which I use to judge which methods will be most pertinent.


Rich W:

Very interesting and thank you for sharing this. How does the "witness" figure now for you? I ask because I was stuck with it for a long time and it removes one from life...I always felt it was a falsity but had to study and practice long and hard before I started to be able to drop it in sitting.....


Any experience which is being taken for an experiencer can be seen directly as merely another experience, not a static 'thing-self' standing behind or around experience having experiences. This goes to the point of debunking unconscious views as the point of practice, to me. This view that there is an 'experiencer' is a prime example. Practice can be as simple as just checking out whatever presents as such a thing and seeing directly whether it actually is so.


Rich W:


Aha...that answers the point above I think...although you stil mention personal peace, which I can't wuite equate with the moody sentence?


I was referring to states of peace which arose in sitting practice. Non-communicative. Non-stable. Reliably accessible when conditions were arranged correctly, but not having a transformative effect on my way of being in the world. R.E. arhats, I am aware of several interpretations of what that word refers to, and wouldn't claim to be one by any of those definitions. Sorry if I gave that impression!



Rich W:


I am grateful for your sharing, Jake, Thank you. It is useful IMO to hear about others stories, even if ours might be different, as it highlights opportunities, methodologies, options etc etc.


Thanks, I'm glad you found it somewhat useful and i hope it wasn't confusing.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 7:00 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 6:58 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
. Jake .:
... the kinds of experiences which arise in practice are not simply laying about waiting to be experienced in a simple way but are partially constituted by the methods employed, the way experience is being related to via the method.
Also subsequent interpretations of the significance of the states (what did that mean to my further practice? to my ongoing experience of life?) is influenced by the views held. A prime difference to me between experiences and transformative insights is that the latter occur when views that have been heretofore conceptually shaping experience pervasively are dropped in favor of direct awareness of actual qualities of experiencing.


That's brilliant stuff, Jake. I think understanding this and working with its implications is actually a great form of practice in itself . (In my experience, the best).

To extend it slightly (hopefully without distorting it) : being oriented toward the actual qualities of experiencing (rather than to ascribing fixed attributes to experiences or to what is experieced) helps to avoid a lot of fundamentalist traps, and it makes philosophy into a lived artform, a creative and therapeutic tool -- without sacrificing any fidelity to anything that matters.

Don't wanna divert the thread; just thought the general idea was widely applicable and well worth contemplating.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 7:21 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/8/12 7:21 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
John Wilde:


I think understanding this and working with its implications is actually a great form of practice in itself . (In my experience, the best).

To extend it slightly (hopefully without distorting it) : being oriented toward the actual qualities of experiencing (rather than to ascribing fixed attributes to experiences or to what is experieced) helps to avoid a lot of fundamentalist traps, and it makes philosophy into a lived artform, a creative and therapeutic tool -- without sacrificing any fidelity to anything that matters.

Don't wanna divert the thread; just thought the general idea was widely applicable and well worth contemplating.



Hello Jack! delighted that you are participating here again lately.

Not a distortion, but an accurate amplification of my perspective. Life is the point; sitting is a part of life. It's true that at certain phases in practice we break new ground in formal practice and then generalize it in daily life, so that life becomes a part of 'sitting' or formal practice in a sense. But there is the other side as well, as life emerges more spontaneously in all its rich faceting.

To the italicized portion of the quote: in my experience, it seems that the dynamic which underlies "ascribing fixed attributes" involves reifying descriptions, the latter understood on a spectrum from very subtle non-verbal 'subtle holding of experience as a certain idea or notion' (as Nic put it on a KFD thread recently) up through complex verbal notions and abstract ideas like 'free will' or 'determinism'.

Seeing clearly the difference between descriptions and the indescribable while simultaneously seeing that the actual phenomenological presencing of descriptions itself is indescribable, seems to innoculate mind against reification (confusing descriptions with the vivid indescribability of living experiencing). This way experiencing becomes increasinly light and transparent without suppressing though, descriptions, language, communication.
Rich W, modified 9 Years ago at 8/17/12 2:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/17/12 2:37 PM

RE: Hallo All. Avoidance and advice needed, please.

Posts: 15 Join Date: 11/2/10 Recent Posts
Hi Jake, Adam and John

Sorry for my tardiness in replying. I hope you both are well. Where were you hiking Jake?

Yes, I agree, Adam. I was referring to things like the Buddha's reported stereotyped beliefs which were a result of him being a man of his times....and by being so this could cause suffering....

Agreed, Jake, about the visualisation- eloquently put..

2) Not quite what I meant. In the case I was describing, the idea was that the kinds of experiences which arise in practice are not simply laying about waiting to be experienced in a simple way but are partially constituted by the methods employed, the way experience is being related to via the method. Also subsequent interpretations of the significance of the states (what did that mean to my further practice? to my ongoing experience of life?) is influenced by the views held. A prime difference to me between experiences and transformative insights is that the latter occur when views that have been heretofore conceptually shaping experience pervasively are dropped in favor of direct awareness of actual qualities of experiencing. In my experience the deeper the insight into emptiness penetrates my mind, the more of these various views of experiencers drop and the less there is a sense of experiences and more a sense of experiencing. One of the many fascinating paradoxes of this process in my perspective is that the more experiencing is lightened up in this way, the less of a sense of agency-as-control is present, thus the less sense of struggle and effort in life in general. And yet, there is an increasing sense of... not sure how to phrase it... intentionality or activity to experiencing itself. Experiencing becomes more explicitly an activity, an engagement, even as the flavor of that engagement and active intelligence becomes more light and open and spontaneous. For instance, at one time I would characterize activity as occurring somewhere on a felt spectrum between compulsive and deliberate whereas now those both seem the same and mutually opposite to spontaneous, which itself could include anything from simply seeing something to planning and reflecting. To be clear, I still experience activity as often compulsive or deliberate (i.e., ignorant). Hence the practices of stillness training and ethical restraint when they seem useful. That is the very barometer which I use to judge which methods will be most pertinent.


I can't see anything I would diagree with here either emoticon

Any experience which is being taken for an experiencer can be seen directly as merely another experience, not a static 'thing-self' standing behind or around experience having experiences. This goes to the point of debunking unconscious views as the point of practice, to me. This view that there is an 'experiencer' is a prime example. Practice can be as simple as just checking out whatever presents as such a thing and seeing directly whether it actually is so.


Although this was a more a felt thing to me...I could "look" at it but couldn't drop it even though I knew it be a mode of experiencing only..the drop was a felt sense action...

Yes, the experience of peacefulness away from the sitting..I have a few folks I know who are proud of their dharma acheivements and length of sittings..and then need compliments about it or get angry when practice sessions aren't as adhered too by others as they think they should be. Didn't Gurdjeff have a chap he kept around purely because he pissed most people off??? lol.....I never get unsettled now as I am far too good at repression ;) lol

Your final post is great too, Jake. I think that namarupa being translated as name and form actually refers to this separating things in to forms and then further separation by naming....

All the best to everyone

Rich

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